Fifth arrest made in mistaken-ID slaying in Lakewood

Staff writerNovember 24, 2013 

A fifth man charged in connection with the death of a Lakewood man mistakenly shot in a murder-for-hire plot last year was jailed Sunday, police said.

Lakewood police Lt. Chris Lawler said Jiffary Alexander Mendez was arrested after a pursuit, when police realized there was a warrant for him in connection to the homicide.

According to charging papers, Mendez is charged with first-degree murder, conspiracy to commit murder, first-degree burglary and attempted first-degree robbery.

Those are the same charges faced by William Alvarez Calo, Mazzar Robinson, Ray Steven Turner, and Robert Leon Smith Jr., who all pleaded not guilty and await trial.

Prosecutors allege the group conspired to kill 32-year-old Juan Hidalgo-Mendoza, and instead fatally shot his roommate and cousin, Jaime Diaz-Solis, on Nov. 12, 2012.

Calo allegedly ordered the hit against Hidalgo-Mendoza, who prosecutors say he saw as a rival drug dealer.

According to court records, Mendez introduced Robinson to Calo, and through Robinson, Smith and Turner also met Calo. Mendez left with those three the night of the homicide, a witness told police.

alexis.krell@thenewstribune.com

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